If you haven’t tried Oslo Albet’s excellent Fireboy and Watergirl series, you definitely should. This Flash game series tasked two players with exploring a series of exciting locations, and each player had a different set of abilities, meaning you’d need to coordinate your play carefully with your co-op partner in order to succeed.
While there may not be a ton of games exactly like Fireboy and Watergirl out there, you will find no shortage of excellent co-op experiences that demand you and your partner keep your wits about you. Without further ado, let’s take a look at 12 games similar to Fireboy and Watergirl!
1. It Takes Two
Hazelight’s excellent It Takes Two might have an insufferable story, but if you can look past that and focus on the gameplay, you’ll have a great time. Cody and May are two bickering parents in the midst of a divorce, and after they’re shrunk down smaller than insects, they must find a way to co-operate if they want to get back to their daughter. What follows is a delightful co-op odyssey with some of the best two-player gameplay around.
2. A Way Out
It’s clear that Hazelight has an interest in co-op experiences, because A Way Out, the game the studio developed before It Takes Two, is also a two-player-only title. You and your partner play as prisoners who must escape from their prison, and the story unfolds as they discover more about each other. To say more would be to spoil things, but check this out if you want a more narrative-focused co-op game.
Josef Fares created this “single-player co-op game” before he started Hazelight, and although it doesn’t support two players, it does feel like a co-operative experience. You play as the titular brothers, who must go on a journey across a fairytale-inspired land after their father falls ill. Inspired by games like Ico, Brothers finds some impressive and innovative ways to tug at your heartstrings.
It doesn’t get much cuter than Phogs!. If you tried It Takes Two and couldn’t get past the bad writing and dialogue (and we totally understand if that’s the case), then Phogs! should scratch your Fireboy and Watergirl itch. You and your partner play as two halves of the same CatDog-style doggo, and together, you must figure out how to solve a series of puzzles across adorable themed lands.
5. Unravel 2
The Unravel games are both great co-op puzzle-platformers, but only Unravel 2 supports co-op. While it is possible to play the game solo, we’d strongly recommend grabbing a partner for its brain-teasing yarn puzzles, which see you swinging across chasms, pulling rocks, and more. The story and framing are a little twee, but if that’s your jam, you’ll find a delightful game here.
6. Portal 2
If what you’re after is a puzzle game with a robust co-op focus, then Portal 2 should already be on your wishlist. Valve’s excellent followup to one of the greatest games of all time packs in a compelling single-player campaign and some of the best puzzling around in its co-op mode. Make sure you take a friend with whom you can communicate easily, because you’ll need to talk puzzles through.
Human: Fall Flat isn’t technically a co-op game, but once you’ve tried playing by yourself and alongside a friend, you’ll wonder how you ever managed to get by solo. Solving this physics platformer’s puzzles is just infinitely more satisfying if you do it with someone else, and with a range of levels offering various different scenarios available, you’re not likely to run out of fun anytime soon.
Together with up to three friends (or by yourself if you prefer), Lovers in a Dangerous Spacetime has you managing a spaceship. You and your friend(s) must dash between the various different systems of the ship, taking care of them and making sure they’re operational when things get hairy. Communication is key in this co-op action-puzzler, as you’ll need to make sure everyone knows what they’re supposed to be doing.
9. Spelunky 2
The original Spelunky was one of the games that helped to popularise the roguelike genre, and its sequel is bigger, more complex, and more difficult. Grab a friend or two to help you explore this ever-changing platformer’s underground world, navigate its puzzles, and defeat its enemies, and you’ll be glad you did; it’s definitely not an experience for the faint of heart.
Available on both PlayStation and PC, Sackboy: A Big Adventure was an unexpected delight when it launched in 2020. It’s a 3D platformer created by the folks chosen to shepherd LittleBigPlanet when original creator Media Molecule moved on, and every, ahem, molecule of Sumo Digital’s love for the world shines through here. Play it in co-op, because you’ll want someone with you when the musical sequences start.
We’re moving a little far away from the puzzle remit of the Fireboy and Watergirl series here, but Super Mario 3D World + Bowser’s Fury is a great co-op platformer, so we’re including it anyway. The co-op play in the new Bowser’s Fury add-on is somewhat vestigial, but it feels integral to the core Super Mario 3D World experience; the game is vastly improved by playing it with friends.
As a launch title for the Nintendo Switch, Snipperclips showed what could be done with the individual Joy-Con controllers. You and a friend play as two pieces of paper, and it’s your job to cut each other into shapes that can solve the game’s various puzzles. It’s an ingenious piece of design that makes every puzzle feel like a fresh joy. Our only complaint about Snipperclips is that we wanted more of it!